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How do I Become a Desktop Support Specialist?

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  • Written By: Vicki Hogue-Davies
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 28 October 2016
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Desktop support specialists resolve computer problems for computer users. To become a desktop support specialist requires at least a high school diploma. Some organizations require more advanced formal education, such as a bachelor's degree, in an area such as information technology, computer science or a related discipline. Some companies will allow someone with a combination of education and experience to become a desktop support specialist.

If you want to become a desktop support specialist, start as early as possible to learn all you can about computers. Take all of the computer courses your high school offers. If you are not planning to pursue a four-year degree, consider a two-year program or certificate program offered through a community college or technical school. Certificate programs that make you a specialist in specific computer systems or software products also can be a path into this profession. Contact manufacturers of popular products to find out what kind of training is offered.

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Depending on the employer and the particular position, very specialized experience might be required, or more basic broad computer-related knowledge might be desired. Starting out, you might want to consider gaining as much basic experience as possible about computer hardware and software, computer servers, computer networks, how system security works and more. After you know what facet of computers most interests you, you can start learning more and more about that area to become a specialist. Having basic broad knowledge, along with expertise in an in-demand specialty, can help make you more employable.

Gaining certifications that show you are proficient in the field of computer support can help you to become a desktop support specialist. The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a vendor-neutral organization that offers A+ certification for entry-level information technology (IT) professionals. Earning this certification demonstrates to employers that you have strong computer technology experience, troubleshooting skills and customer support aptitude. The organization also offers more advanced certifications in networking, security, computer servers and other areas.

Additional characteristics that are helpful if you want to become a desktop support specialist include responsiveness, patience, strong communication skills and all-around customer service ability. The ability to explain technical concepts in simple terms is important in helping computer users to understand problems and how they can be resolved. Strong trouble-shooting and problem-solving abilities are necessary if you want to become a desktop support specialist. An attention to timeliness in order to resolve problems quickly is important. Writing skills to create computer documentation also are important.

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